Lifespan-on-a-chip: microfluidic chambers for performing lifelong observation of C. elegans

Lab Chip. 2010 Mar 7;10(5):589-97. doi: 10.1039/b919265d. Epub 2009 Dec 18.


This article describes the fabrication of a microfluidic device for the liquid culture of many individual nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) in separate chambers. Each chamber houses a single worm from the fourth larval stage until death, and enables examination of a population of individual worms for their entire adult lifespans. Adjacent to the chambers, the device includes microfluidic worm clamps, which enable periodic, temporary immobilization of each worm. The device made it possible to track changes in body size and locomotion in individual worms throughout their lifespans. This ability to perform longitudinal measurements within the device enabled the identification of age-related phenotypic changes that correlate with lifespan in C. elegans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Life Cycle Stages / physiology*
  • Life Support Systems / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity